Harry Redknapp took his place on the Tottenham bench as his English Premier League side squeezed past Watford 1-0 to advance to the last 16 of the FA Cup on Friday.
Spurs midfielder Rafael van der Vaart scored the only goal at Vicarage Road as Redknapp was given cause to smile after a demanding week which has seen him in the dock of a London court on trial for tax evasion. Spurs, beaten 3-2 by Manchester City in their last league outing, indicated they plan to make a serious bid for the FA Cup after naming a strong side for the fourth round tie.
Goalscorer van der Vaart admitted Tottenham had been fortunate to advance after an unconvincing display. "We played a bad game today and Watford deserved more, maybe a win," van der Vaart said. "They were the better team. Sometimes you have these kind of days. The pitch was heavy and Watford played great."
Tottenham took the lead three minutes before half-time after a blunder by Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach. Kyle Walker launched a counter-attack and fed Van der Vaart, whose long-range effort bamboozled Loach, the Watford keeper misjudging the bounce horribly as the Dutchman's shot flew past him into the net.
The goal was hard on Watford, who had matched the Premier League pace-setters well throughout the opening period and will be ruing their failure to convert any one of half a dozen chances. The Hornets also began the second half in positive fashion, hitting the woodwork when Sean Murray's curling effort was helped onto the post by Spurs keeper Carlo Cudicini.
Tottenham nearly doubled their lead mid-way through the half, Van der Vaart's effort hitting the crossbar after a swift counter-attack involving Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon. Watford hit the woodwork again through a John Eustace header but Spurs held on to enter Sunday's fifth round draw.
Donovan the delivery man
In Friday's other fourth round game, Everton came from behind to defeat Fulham 2-1 in a hard-fought battle at Goodison Park.
A goal 17 minutes from time from Everton's Belgian international midfielder Marouane Fellaini (set up by Landon Donovan) clinched victory for the Toffees, who had equalised through Denis Stracqualursi after Danny Murphy put Fulham ahead from the penalty spot.
Fulham took the lead after only 14 minutes when Johnny Heitinga was adjugded to have blocked Chris Baird's shot with his arm. Referee Howard Webb had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Murphy stepped up to send Tim Howard the wrong way from the penalty spot.
But Everton responded swiftly and got back on level terms after a sustained period of pressure ended with Argentine striker Stracqualursi's first goal for the club on 27 minutes. Donovan swung in an inviting cross and Stracqualursi did just enough to steer a header into the Fulham net for 1-1.
Donovan also had a hand in Everton's winner, providing the cross for Fellaini to head beyond David Stockdale to make it 2-1.